We first meet Rey on the desert planet of Jakku. The sun is hot and the days are long; the landscape is nothing but sand and scattered ship remains. A battle had occurred a long while ago, that left mechanical remnants everywhere, and they still have some value. Our heroine Rey is a solitary scavenger on this planet. Her day consists of traveling around the world, looking for valuable parts, risking her life to do so. There seems to be no real government on the planet, so if she makes a wrong move she could possibly die.
After a long day of scavenging, Rey brings all her valuable items to her friendly neighborhood junk dealer. The risk is high, so the payout should also be high as well, right? Ethically, the answer should be yes, but when do ethics ever go perfectly along with business? Rey is paid poorly for her efforts with a quarter portion of food.
In this particular scene Rey even questions why her findings are worth less than they were last week. Unkar Plutt, the junk dealer doesn’t care though. He and his trade network have the power on this planet, so they can make the rules. This so called, ruling class, can be viewed in a Marxist perspective as the bourgeoisie in this situation. They are monetarily driven individuals who take advantage of those below them. The unlucky individuals here (the proletariats) are used for their scavenging abilities, and get very little in return. The bourgeoisie don’t risk their lives or need to do nearly as much work. They just take a managerial role and let the system they established do its thing.
Rey is eventually able to make her way off the godforsaken planet and escape the system. She is now in the hands of a much kinder regime in power, the First Order. They are leaps and bounds nicer with than those tedious junk masters and equally distribute their portions. The currency of the First Order is lasers, so they equally distribute them to their disciples.
Whoops! Guess I was wrong. Those generous portions of lasers weren’t actually friendly. It turns out that the First Order is even worse than those petty junk dealers. I must have read their address wrong, the First Order isn’t located at 76 pleasant lane, their actual address is 666 Starkiller Base. My Mistake! With the implementation of those well placed lasers the First Order destroyed all planets aligned with the New Republic in one fell swoop. Now the previous good natured rulers are gone, and the First Order is running the show.
The First Order is a whole different kind of evil. Their currency isn’t something trivial like scavenged parts or portions of food. Their ultimate currency is power over everyone in the galaxy. The First Order has their own social system in their organization. Like any upstanding members or the bourgeoisie the high ranking members of the First Order exploit those underneath them for their work. The unfortunate proletariats in this case are the storm troopers that work for their masters. They produce the power for their bosses by risking life and limb to defeat all that stand in their way.
Fortunately for Rey, she has help standing up to oppressive regimes of the junk dealers and the First Order. The help comes from one of the First Order’s own members. Finn is a stormtrooper who can’t stomach the cruel methods of the First Order and deserts them to the desert. Together, Finn and Rey join forces to break out of their previous social classes and search for a better life.
Of course there is a lot more action along the way, so you’ll have to watch the movie yourself to see how two powerless individuals fight for their rights in a class revolution.
Rey provides a great example of a working class woman who stands up for herself in an unfair situation. While the real world doesn’t have space ships to fly away from your problems in, oppressive situations like this are very real. Third world countries have people like Rey that have to scavenge in horrendous conditions for little in return. These people can’t break free themselves, so they need the help of a class revolution to break free of their oppressed lives.